Off to Cambodia and Laos

I won’t be writing anything here for the next three weeks. This weekend, Jill and I depart for a 20-day sojourn in Cambodia and Laos. Our itinerary is open-ended–just the way I like it. We fly from here to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (with a one-night layover in Bangkok), and then we fly home from Vientiane, […]

A Few More Links

–I wrote a lengthy item a few months ago about how much I love the band Wilco. And so I’d been eagerly awaiting their newest album, A Ghost is Born. I’m quite disappointed. There are vast stretches of the record that are simply…well, bad. Hard to listen to. Ugly-sounding. My feeling is that the band […]

South America’s Indigenous Uprising

Checking in on Bolivia, the AP says: “Nine months after nearly 60 people died in street fighting against plans to export natural gas, Bolivians peacefully voted to do just that in a referendum that appeared to boost a president trying to calm simmering social unrest.” The story’s complicated; I defer to Bolivia expert Miguel Centellas […]

A Few Links

—Wendy H., God bless her, sends word that “Trekkies 2” is now available on DVD. (The follow-up to the hilarious “Trekkies,” this flick never came out in theaters. For shame.) — Would you believe that a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet command is named…drumroll please… Lt. Cmdr. Flex Plexico. Believe it. Seriously. With a […]

Thoughts on Personal Productivity

I’m generally skeptical of personal productivity systems. I think they’re mostly much ado about nothing–how hard is it, really, to simply think about what you want from life and then set about accomplishing it? (Okay, so maybe it’s not that easy.) Out of curiosity, I read Stephen Covey’s hugely popular “Seven Habits Of Highly Effective […]

Is China About to Invade Taiwan?

It’s not as far-fetched as one might imagine. And let’s just say this: yours truly will have a front-row seat for the main event, baby!

More on Learning Chinese

I’m happy to report that, at long last, I’m making some progress in learning Chinese. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been surprised at how difficult the language is to pick up. But now, after perhaps 10 hours in the classroom learning the tones, Jill and I have moved on to actually speaking words and phrases […]

Back From Taipei

Quick note: we’re back from Taipei. A good time was had by all. My soccer team performed well, making it to the semi-finals, where we were beaten by an excellent squad that went on to win the championship (and which contained a member of the Taiwan national soccer team). The logistics of the trip are […]

Jalapeno pepper hands: how to cure the burn

🌶️ Update, August 19, 2018: It’s been fourteen years since I first published this post, and the comments just keep coming. It seems this affliction is still plaguing folks. Read through and please weigh in with your suggestions below! July 3, 2004: The story of my friend’s accident involving jalapeno peppers. Read his tale and […]